N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Animals

STAYING AT HOME…YOU’RE NOT ALONE

People around the whole world are feeling the pressure of the “stay at home” regulations.  States in the U.S. and many countries are trying to open slowly, but safely…  while waiting for the danger of the coronavirus to pass and a new vaccine is discovered.

After resting a while during the weekend from writing, I decided to think about some people I know and their plight with being confined.  Then I’d like to turn our attention to something a little more light-hearted.

staying home 2020

Photo by Juan Gomez

My blogging friend in England is keeping a running journal of his days in quarantine.  He is situated out in the country and not in the big city of London.  Nevertheless, whether staying in a packed apartment building in New York City or out in the countryside, the feeling is the same.    What do I do with myself today?

Planning for “staying put” is not easy on anyone.  My English friend is pressing ahead, however, and working out plans for his future business which has been a great tour guide in the past.  He may be expanding, possibly into Scotland.  He thinks that entrepreneurs do their best during critical times…they come up with ideas!  Right on…go for it, Stephen!!

Our son is working from home these days with conference calls from Japan, Australia, Germany or other places that are his business concerns, besides the United States.  His airline just cancelled his booked trip to Australia.  Frustrated plans, I’m certain, but a better day will come! Some things are totally out of our hands.

His good friend, who is from Switzerland, has planned a wedding in Venice, (not Venice, Florida)  which he is still hopeful will happen in August…but who knows?   He’ll cross that bridge when he gets there.

Not flying..parked airplanes Nick Oxford/Reuters

More difficult for others are those who are in retirement homes and nursing facilities and can’t have their loved ones visit.  We have talked to two people recently who are told that they can’t go out of their rooms. Can you imagine the mental anguish for those confined to one room and four walls? Not enough can be said about their situation. It is not only difficult for the elderly, but for their families who love and miss being with them.    Keep making those regular calls to these friends and family because they REALLY need you.    This too will eventually end for those so confined, but the waiting and loneliness must be almost intolerable.

Another friend of ours is trying to make it especially helpful for the children.  They are making water slides and fun games for the children to play outside.  Even our dogs feel the cooped up problem when they whine and push their wet nose against our arms. they seem to be begging to go out.  “Hey, when is my walk…outside??!! 

  The nicest young boy in our neighborhood is being home schooled, but occasionally he is seen zooming up and down the street on his little scooter.  Hey, a guy can only learn so much!    To his Mom, who is trying to work from home and be a teacher as well, I can only smile and say, “Mom, you are investing in the future of the world…for he may be the scientist or doctor to kill off a future virus!  Hang in there!”  

So having empathized as much as I can with all of you stranded, isolated, stay-at-homers,  I’d like to end with a little humor.  We all need a chuckle!

Here are some talented singers who know exactly how you have been feeling because they feel it too.   They composed their song while staying apart to dramatize life in the last weeks…going on months.  We expect that they will sing again TOGETHER before long.   Thanks, Guys,  for your creative spirit!!

     HISTORY IS THE WITNESS…THIS TOO WILL PASS. 

VIDEO FOR THE WAY YOU AROUND THE WORLD MAY FEEL OUT THERE. Remember, you are not alone.     Turn up your sound


Animal Lessons…a new book series

Very young children love to be read to and shown pictures…especially of animals.  If there is a pet in the home or the family takes trips to the great outdoors, animals are always in the mix.

Our family dogs and cats give us love and attention and love is mostly what they crave …next to a big bowl of food.  cat and dog eating

 

All animals, domesticated or wild, feel better when they have a full tummy.

bird eats orange

A bird finds an orange treat

squirell eats a strawberry

A squirrel is happy for a hand-out!

snail eats stawberrry

Wow! Some little creatures bite off more than they can swallow.

Food changes all moods…human and otherwise.  This led me to think about how animal books could teach very young children how to behave.  Parents, you will like this first in a series on “animal lessons” as you try to feed, put to bed or teach sharing with your child.

Here is my newest book for a little one that you may know…The Moody Musical Cat.

It wasn’t food that changed his behavior, but music.  Surprise! Surprise!

  View The Moody Musical Cat 

Moody Musican Cat Front

  View The Moody Musical Cat 


The Beauty of the Earth and God’s Creation

God’s Holy Word tells us many things about the Beauty of the Earth and God’s creation:

For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And he is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together.  Colossians 1:16-17

Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering Yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire. He set the earth on its foundations so that it should never be moved. …   Psalm 104:1-35

And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.  Genesis1:31

 

God’s love for us through His Son should make in us a freedom that is not known through anything else.

This music is for your week’s pleasure.

Video:  Peaceful music from Born Free by John Barry and the earth’s beautiful creatures.  Turn up sound.


Dog Heros of 9-11

The heroes of 9-11 were many.  They were not only first responders, people with amazing courage and compassion for fellow citizens, but the many dogs that worked tirelessly at Ground Zero.

A friend sent me this article written by

“Search and rescue dogs are some of the unsung heroes of 9/11… However, these determined animals were indispensable to the rescue efforts and saved countless lives. What’s more, they brought back a sliver of hope to a nation under attack and reeling from the horror. One Twitter user gave canines the attention they deserve in an incredibly profound and viral thread that once and for all proves that dogs really are our best friends”rescue dog of 9-11 Riley (2)

 

9-1 dog Bretagne

“Some of these heroic dogs were awarded The Dickin Medal which, according to BBC Radio 4, is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. One of the dogs who received the medal was the aforementioned New York Police Department dog Appollo; the award was meant to recognize the dutiful efforts made by all SAR dogs during 9/11…

Two guide dogs were also awarded the medal for leading their owners more than 70 floors out of the World Trade Center immediately after the attacks in New York. Since 1943, over 60 animals have been awarded The Dickin Medal, including pigeons, horses and a cat (not just dogs). They were recognized for their services which led to people’s lives being saved during wartime.”

Boyer Writes gives honor to all the Hero Dogs of 9-11

The video below is the story of Michael Hingson, a survivor on 9-11 and his dog, Roselle. (Turn up sound)

 


Hurricanes…the Victims and Help

As of today, Hurricane Dorian has stayed almost stationary, only moving slightly, while pounding the people, buildings and all on the Bahamas for 45 straight hours. It may continue to move up the Eastern coastal areas of the United States with great concerns for many.  We are totally grateful to the hundreds of workers with their fully equipped trucks waiting to restore power, as needed. These have come from as far as Canada to Daytona Beach, Florida. The Red Cross and other first responders are coming to help.

Keep all those who are suffering today in your prayers while we, in the inland areas, move around mostly in comfort and safety. The bands of rain continue to blast as the hurricane passes.

It is not only the devastation of any hurricane for the humans in the path, but also the animals.  One woman in the Bahamas decided to do something about this. This short video tells of her compassion.

Click for short video. Turn on sound

 Compassion for Animals

If you are one of our readers and not in the U.S. and would like to see what has been happening in the Bahamas, here is another link.

The Tragedy of the Bahamas

 

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An Alternative to Stopping Crime

Walmart has had some really bad things happen recently, but they have one customer who is fearless, a kind of John Wayne, and good all-around guy.  I know he is my favorite cowboy.

I thought Steve Harman, who is also one of our favorites on any TV program, would like this if I passed it along…so here goes.  Have a great week.

From Boyer Writes

Click this link:  https://www.youtube.com/embed/dsq_jZiB1_U


The Right Idea

Sometimes when the world is ready to throw up its collective hands, maybe we need to take a lesson from some who have the right idea about things:

  • If someone enters your territory for a little rest, let them.
  • Give them an extra push when needed.
  • While they rest, you rest.

Life is too short to do otherwise. 

Have a great day and enjoy this video below which illustrates the words above. They have the Right Idea!  (Great music…click video, move mouse over picture and click on sound)

 

 

 


Life is not always fair….FIGHT BACK with God’s Help

The troubles we encounter sometimes bring us to wonder if there is any way out. Life, in many cases, is not fair.   Standing our ground; never giving up hope, and sometimes just plain fighting back is the only way.thinking it through

I recently saw the video below and it reminded me of this fact.  In this case, a baby elephant had been separated from its mother and was attacked by a large number of lions.   It is breath-taking to watch.   He is a tough little guy and the odds certainly are against him.  Nature is harsh and relentless.  Survival is not always possible in nature, but within the animal and in man there is the God-given spirit to fight off the offender and not only survive, but to live…truly live another day.

Isn’t that the case with difficult situations?   We just have to “tough” them out.  Solutions are not always easy.   To find a solution may be through our own searching or through the help of others…but there usually is an answer to the heart-ache or trial that besets us.  Whatever yours may be, don’t give up. Remember, there is usually someone wanting to help you by lending a hand.

helping hand

In our video, the 14 lions attack an elephant from behind…climbing on the elephants back…trying to bring him down. You may notice that the elephant had a strategy.  He led the lions into the water…chasing them back…dropping back into a safer area…and continuing this fight time and time again. Toward the end of the film, the elephant’s strategy has worked, but he returns to the same place of danger. We are left fearful that he will be attacked again. Perhaps one thing we know is that if we are moving away from the dangerous things in our lives and then return again to the same place, it may not be the smartest move.  I’ll have to tell you that it was reported that in the end he was reunited with his elephant family.

The lions attack from behind and hang on, hoping to wear the elephant down. Isn’t it the case when life’s troubles attack?  They often come from behind when we are not expecting them.  As they hang on, we are made weary or even in some cases become sick from the anxiety.   Troubles may be something of our own makings, such as a wrong decision or even drug or alcohol abuse. Then again, it may be family or work difficulties.

The “fight back” is not revenge or plans to get even, but one that will get the “monkey off the back”…(or the lion in the elephant’s case)  and to find peace and rest. Some things you can’t change for they are out of your hands. If this is your situation, stop beating yourself up about the matter.   God knows far better than you how to change something that you can’t.  Therefore, seek Him out in your thoughts and prayers.  Put your life in His hands.

Video:


The Bond of Love

The love we develop for the animals of the world is a bond that is hard to explain.  It is one so strong that even after the animal is no longer alive, the love is still there and the memories.   We know it is true with our beautiful Golden Retrievers that we have had the joy of knowing and loving during their life span.

Gracie in kitchen Howey

Our Gracie Girl

They are loyal and ready to do the job they were trained to do.

9-11 Bretagne and Denise Corliss

Bretagne, the last known 9/11 rescue dog, is pictured with owner Denise Corliss

 

Do the animals feel the same bond?   It is hard to say, but we hear of those who have traveled miles to get back to a home where they once lived and were loved.  They have the special senses that God has given them…smell, sight and a keenness far beyond human abilities.  Their survival skills are many, but just as human infants, they often must rely on care and intervention to make it to adulthood.

Our military often owe their lives to the bravery of the dogs who have fought alongside them.

soldier and military dogdogsoldier1

Recently I watched a story of love and care by one of a Marine stationed in Syria. His story and bond to a little dog caught up in the brutalities of war is worth sharing in this blog.

Video:  Turn up sound

 


Acts of Kindness

President George HW Bush called for a “kinder nation” and from time to time we will see evidence that there are many kind people in the world.  The shame is that most stories we see on TV or on the internet are of the violent and outrageous.

I began looking for some actual videos of kindness…or pictures to prove that it does not matter to what nationality or race one belongs…KINDNESS is kindness…and it crosses all boundaries.

I read about a woman on an airline who had a crying 2-year-old and a 5-year-old.  A woman offered to help and hold a child throughout the flight.  The mother was so grateful.

woman holds boy for mother on airline

A woman holds a little boy for a mother flying with 2 tired children.

I understand this well in that I had three children on an airline from California to Florida.  My daughter, who was a baby, cried off and on the entire trip. My sons tried to ignore it and curled up on the floor to sleep. That, in itself, was a no-no.  I’m certain the other passengers were beside themselves with hostile thoughts, but no one wanted to reach out to help and make things better.  We all lived through it…but barely.  One does not realize that it is sometimes impossible to silence a tired, upset child who is used to his/her routine, safely back at home in the bed.

Another act of kindness was a young 13-year-old  who went outside in the rain with an umbrella to help an elderly gentleman get home.  There is definitely hope for the next generation.   This young man made his mother proud…and he should be also.

boy helps elderly man to his door

I happen to be an animal lover.  It is easy to love all animals.  It is not so easy to love the down and out who may or may not have made their own bed and are now lying in it.  Nevertheless, these are exactly the kind of people to whom Jesus Christ reached out …the beggar, the harlot, the unclean and pathetic.  He calls us to do the same…not just during Christmas when we have a warm, cheerful heart… but always.   We may be the only face of “Christ” that they will see…or the only hands and heart that shows God’s love.

 

Below is a video that calls for people of all walks of life to reach out to a fellow human being…or an animal that is in distress.   Saving a life or making one just a little better is what we need today…this Christmas…and always.  Bring your kindness to someone today.

Mathew 25:40  “…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto Me.”

Video

 

 


Finding that NEW PATH

Today I want to introduce my readers to a man who has found his direction in a most unusual way. I write about him because in my previous blog, I talked about “New Directions.”  This man has followed his passion after leaving a profession as a sailor and it has led him to more than he could have ever imagined.   His name is Caras Ionut (or  Ionuţ Caraş in the Romanian language )    His specialty is manipulating photography in a surreal style.  Ionut Caras photographer from Romania

“In his work, he uses his own photographs, which he inserts, composes and colorfully adjusts in a suitable way. In his dream works, physically impossible scenes arise, such as a little girl hanging on a swing hundreds of feet above the ground, an elephant riding a bicycle, a little girl riding on the back of a huge fish, and the like. Ionut often puts man in his paintings. Often they are small children, but also special people not fit into the standard society. Roamers, beggars, comedians, and so on. Their image is enhanced by a dark landscape with old trees, dark sky, mist, mountain scenery or rainy weather. Often, the element of umbrella, ships, water, rocks or birds (such as ravens) is repeated in his work. Ionut’s inspiration for his works draws from his dreams in the night, from the colors of autumn and winter. He works as a professional photographer and a retoucher, offers courses and tutorials for those who want to learn how to digitally manipulate photos… Many of his images have been used for book covers, audio cd, bank advertisements, website materials, local publications, prints, and many other uses. He now has many clients…such as Stephen King and others…”  (Wikipedia)

Below are three sets of slides for you to enjoy.  Take your time and study them for the creative side is excellent.  I’m not certain if the child he often incorporates in his photography is his own, but the combination of the “impossible” with the real is somewhat chilling, but very interesting.

  • THE IMPOSSIBLE

 

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  • DRAMATIC NATURE

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  • THE WARMTH OF ORDINARY PEOPLE

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Look around you for the beauty that is in YOUR path…

Caras Lonut78jpg

Credit:  All photography by Caras Ionut

 


Honoring our Gracie…and 361 more!

This was the 150th year since the Golden Retriever became one of the best and most loved dogs on the planet. They are gentle, trainable and great with children. They also serve as comfort dogs… going to visit hospitals and the elderly who are made happier because they come to be loved and adored.   Many of them worked hours in rescue during 9-11 and in other emergencies. They are simply the best.

It seemed a fitting time to blog about our own most loved Golden Retriever, Gracie,  who was with us for 14 years.  She would have loved the romp with 361 other dogs…if she was still alive and we could have made the trip to Scotland.   Well, we don’t know how Lord Tweedmouth did it when he founded this breed…but we are certainly happy he did!

What was this all about in Scotland?

Goldens in Scotland by Peter J Northpix

Golden Retrievers (Photo credit …Peter Northpix)

 

“The Golden Retriever Club of Scotland hosted a “Guisachan Golden Gathering” to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Golden Retriever breed.

It is believed that the breed was first created at the Guisachan House in 1868 after a breeding experiment by Lord Tweedmouth. According to Friends of Guisachan, the breed began by breeding a Wavy-coated Retriever and a Tweed Water Spaniel.  On Thursday,   (July 19, 2018)   361 golden retrievers gathered in the Scottish Highlands to celebrate the special anniversary.”  (Taken from Sunny Skyz)

 Click this link:   We love you and miss you, Gracie…and we are sharing you with our readers. 

Gracie in kitchen Howey


A Deer is a Dear!

Our home in Virginia, USA, is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We have deer strolling throughout our yard at most any time of day.  They are beautiful and besides the fact that they eat our day lilies, we love them!    Here is a picture of the most recent one. We’re not certain why she has a split ear, but she seems healthy enough   Perhaps she got it caught on a barbed wire fence.

We’ve had rabbits, birds and a bear with three cubs during our time here.  It is the deer that are graceful that is truly lovely to watch.

I’m sure that should one of them have a fawn in our yard, as did this man, I would not have the patience to see it through to adulthood…but I thought this video might brighten your day.  It is somewhat lengthy, but it has a good ending…and worth the watch.


The Miracle of Birth…Welcome Moke

gorillas_calaya_and_moke_649a9476

Moke is born at Smithsonian Zoo

Perhaps you missed the arrival of  Moke at the Smithsonian Zoo in Washington, D.C.     Who is Moke, you may ask, and why is this birth important?

Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered with only an estimated 100,000 left.  Calaya, a western lowland gorilla, who has just given birth to her first offspring, a male named Moke, at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, DC. The arrival of Moke, which means “junior” or “little one” in the Lingala language of Africa, is the zoo’s first such gorilla birth in nine years. (Credit BBC news…Smithsonian)

This is what we learned from two videos posted below.  Be sure to watch both.   In fact, I would recommend to gather around your young children and let them see the miracle of birth…for it should not be a mystery.

Video 1: History of Calaya and the silverback gorilla who is the father of Moke

 

Video 2:  The actual birth of Moke 

  As I watched this birth video, it was impressive to see her so gently clean her newborn and tenderly lay it in the hay.  It appears that she will be a good mother.

We wish the new mother, Calaya, and her new baby, Moke, the best of health and long life.

 

 

 

 


SOS TO ALL DOG OWNERS

dog sniffing5

It seems that even our animals are not safe from the opioid crisis. Veterinarians are seeing more and more dog patients who are stricken because they are simply taking a walk with their unsuspecting owners over something that has been thrown to the ground.

Every dog owner knows that a dog will sniff anything and often ingest things left outside.   This is a warning to all pet lovers that your animals may not be safe to walk around your neighborhood.

dog sniffing3dog sniffing2dog sniffingdog sniffing 8

 

The careless acts of those with a terrible addiction, that has killed so many people in our country and the world, is not their first concern… for children, other adults or even animals.  Neither is it for those who sell these opioids. No matter what kind of neighborhood you live in…BEWARE.

 

 

In the situation you are about to see on this video, it took the vet giving more than one dose of the chemical to reverse this almost fatal drug.    BE VERY ALERT  and watch everything that may be in the path…or off the path…while walking your dog.  This would be the case whether on or off a leash.   Often the leashes that allow a dog freedom to move out and away from their owner might not be the best choice.  Something to think about.

WATCH THIS VIDEO AND ARTICLE  (turn up sound)     Wait for the 2nd video, after the first, to view the better video that shows the owner and the vet speaking. 


Fancy (aka Blossom) Finds a Home

Once there was a little boy who lived in a far away place with many Golden Retriever dogs.  They were his best friends besides his mother, father, and little sister.  One day he saw that his big mama dog had nine little pups.   They were all squirming together in a blue box.  This little boy’s mother took very good care of them. pups in box sm   They were so furry, warm and little.  He loved holding them and watching them being fed by their own mother.pink blossom l green clover purple violetsm  Out of all the puppies, the little boy had a favorite.  The name that the family gave her was “Blossom”.  She was the lightest color of all the pups and they put a little pink collar around her neck to identify her from all the other pups.

The puppies grew and grew.  The little boy played  with all of them, but Blossom kept coming to him and laying around the family’s feet.  She definitely was his favorite.  Sometimes she would get really sleepy or she did the puppy thing and wet her bed or did other unmentionables, but he still loved her. Jackson holding Fancy Blossom would lick his fingers and sometimes his nose.  Her little nails were razor sharp. She would jump and play, making him laugh.  She would try to climb up on him, making him her best friend also.  Then she would lay her head on him and settle down… nice and calm like. He would rub her belly that was warmer and smoother than anything he had ever felt.  However, the calmness did not last long for Blossom wiggled to get free. She  had to explore the world and tussle with the other eight puppies in her litter. Jackson holding Fancy2Jackson holding Fancy3

One day some people came to see the puppies.  They told the boy’s mother that they wanted  a sweet dog for their very own because their Golden Retriever named Gracie, who was fourteen years old, had gotten sick  and gone to be with God.  The lady said they would never forget their Gracie girl, but hoped they could find another special girl puppy  to take home with them out of the nine pups at his house.  He thought that they could find a girl because there were four of them and five boy dogs…but he hoped it would not be his Blossom. Fancy sm The man picked up Blossom very carefully and then he handed Blossom to his wife, who let Blossom sleep on her shoulder. Fancy sleeping on Nancysm

It made the little boy  sad to know that maybe they would pick his favorite dog.   If his Blossom had to go away, he wanted her to have the very best family in the world.  The way the man and lady handled her made him think that they would love her….maybe as much as he did.  They would not get her that day because she was too young and had to stay with her mother for some more weeks.  She also had to get shots from the doctor who was called a Veterinarian.  When the boy’s mother put all nine puppies in her car to see the doctor, it was a fun time at his office because everyone wanted to see the adorable, new pups.

Finally the day came when the man and woman came back to the boy’s house.  They lived a long way and had to drive many miles to get their new pup.  His Mother had told him that Blossom seemed to be the right one for them and  would go to a far away place and live with them.  She told him that she was certain that Blossom would be taken care of and loved in her new home just like they had loved their other dog, Gracie, for so many years.  That made him feel a little bit better.  He learned that Blossom would not have her name they had given her, but would be called Fancy.  She would now be their Fancy girl.   Her real, long name would be Fancy Continental Girl because her new family lived near Fancy Gap, Virginia and their house was on the Continental Divide.  He was not certain what all that meant, but probably would learn someday.

He heard the car coming and the man and woman walked in the door.  They had a big bag in their hand.  The lady said it was a surprise for the family and needed his help in handing out some nice things for everyone.  She let him give out the surprises to his father, who got a big jar of home-made pickles from Peggy down at the Mayberry Country Store.  His sister got a very little dog that looked something like his Blossom.  His mother had a package of little blankets for the new baby expected at their home.  In fact, the new baby was going to come live with them on August 27 which was also the lady’s birthday.  She thought that was really great!    He wondered if there was anything for him.  She handed him the bag and he opened it to find a big stuffed dog that looked a lot like his nine dogs.   Hugging it close to himself, he gave the lady a big smile.    He knew it  would not chew on his fingers with the little, sharp teeth like  Blossom did and maybe he would sleep with it that night to make him feel a little better.
Jacson and stuffed puppy Bethany's son

The lady and man put his Blossom in the car and everyone waved “Goodbye”.   That night the little boy did go to bed with his furry dog that looked  so much like his favorite dog, Blossom.   Just like the couple that came to his house, Jackson knew he would never forget his special dog, Blossom, who was now called Fancy.  Maybe he would find another favorite dog someday that would stay with him forever.  If so, he would probably call her Blossom.

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The story above is true and we at Boyer Writes are glad to share that Blossom (now Fancy) is in her new happy home….that is when everyone gets enough sleep after the 2 am whimper says,  “Don’t forget I’m just a pup who needs to hit the grass outside.  If you don’t listen, I will hit the blanket in my bed.”

We definitely listen to her and hope the day will come when we all get enough sleep, especially my husband who always takes her out at night.  He’s not afraid of the bears or other animals, like skunks, around our mountain house.  Needless to say, they sack out together a good deal of the time. Bill and Fancy sleeping

As I am writing this at my computer, Fancy is sleeping again, curled up at my feet, just as she did at the little boy’s house. Fancy headshot sm

When not sleeping, Fancy is eager to play with the ball, chew on her bone and ride in the truck.  We went to see our dearest uncle John, who is 93 and still plays golf. Fancy and Uncle John 2 Fancy took to him right away but decided not to go in the house with my cousin’s two big cats.

We hope you have enjoyed our journey to find our new puppy and the adorable little boy and his family that we will never forget.  Here are a few pictures of life with Fancy Girl:

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Remembering Gracie

gracie-best-for-cover

Fourteen years ago, Gracie, our Golden Retriever, came to us as a tiny puppy. She was named Gracie Star of Venice, but we only called her “Gracie”.  As her health declined in the last few years, we knew that someday we would have to let her go.  Today is that day. Only those who have been loved by a pet unconditionally know our sense of loss.

gracie-as-a-pup-copy-copy

This blog is to honor our gentle, sweet Gracie as she lived life to its fullest, loving everyone that she met.  So many blessings to all of our family, neighbors and friends.

FUNNY GIRL

gracie-at-bath-timegracie-sticking-out-tonguegracie-complete-relaxation

COMPANION

gracie-riding-in-the-trucknancy-and-graciegracie-kissing-bill-bestgracie-and-best-friend-billbill-and-gracie-at-overlook

gracie-and-bill-sleep-together

Prayer for Gracie Star of Venice

This we know, Our Father in Heaven, that every living thing is Yours and returns to You. As we ponder this mystery, we give you thanks for the life of Gracie and we now commit her into Your loving hands.

 Gentle God: fragile is Your world, delicate are your creatures and costly is your love which bears and redeems us all.

 Holy Creator, give us eyes to see and ears to hear how every living thing speaks to us of Your love. Let us be awestruck at your creation and daily sing Your praises.  Especially, create within us a spirit of gratitude for the life of this beloved pet, Gracie, who has lived among us and given us freely of her love.  Even in our sorrow, we have cause for joy for we know that all creatures that die on earth shall live again in your new creation. You have promised that in this new creation the lion will lay down with the lamb.  We believe that sweet, gentle Gracie will be there to lay down also.  Amen    (parts taken from Prayers and Liturgies for Animals)

FRIEND TO ALL

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We will miss you, Gracie.


National Dog Day…Aug.26, 2016

Yesterday was National Dog Day in the U.S.A.  We would like to honor our dog, Gracie, who has been the most wonderful dog one could ever imagine.  Now, she is old…13 years old…not walking well, going blind and still trying to do her best to please us.

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All dog owners will relate to this blog. We are also thankful to all dogs who love us and service so much in our communities. They helped find the victims of 9-11; train as service dogs to the disabled; give encouragement to the elderly in nursing homes and provide love and protection.

See the training of our security dogs video below.  Thank you also to our police.

 


The Way of Escape…and Hope

Leopard restingLife is complicated.  Often people find themselves in situations where they begin to believe that there is no way out or no way for things to be different.  This may be a personal habit or addiction that has brought life to screeching halt.  It could be a time when one finds himself (or herself) in a situation that they had no control over.  This can often lead to depression or a feeling that God does not hear or that He does not care.

We are reminded in the Holy Scriptures that He does care and will make a way out for us if we seek Him in our concerns.

1st Corinthians 10:13
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”  (New Living Translation)

I saw a video of a  Pimpalgaon Siddhanath village in the Junnar division of Maharashtra, India.  A leopard had fallen into a 60 foot well with no way to escape.  As I watched the video, I was struck with how similar this is to the desperation of many people in their own lives.

  • The leopard hung on to a few sticks bundled together.
  • He struggled; fell off the sticks and struggled some more
  • Even when the men of the village tried to help by lowering a box for him to get into, he fought back with a loud snarl and practically made things worse when his claw caught on the box.

How does this seem similar to human situations?    When in a desperate situation, one may refuse all help…or not even recognize that it is help being offered by those who care.  One may struggle to work things out alone, knowing that there is the possibility of staying in the same quagmire. (An awkward, complex, or hazardous situation)

  • Finally, the leopard sees things differently.  He stops slapping at the box lowered to him and makes a decision to take the only way out.
  • The box, being lowered by those who cared,  had become his answer to a chance at living instead of drowning.

Read this scripture…and know that God has a purpose that you should live and give you hope and rest in your life.    He will make a way for you if you ask Him to do so. Reach out to those around you who have your best interest at heart.

” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  New International Version

Video:


JUST FOR FUN…TO BRIGHTEN THE DAY

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Some things are just too much fun to pass up.  Our Golden Retriever named Gracie looks just like the dog in this video below.  She probably will never have the opportunity to frolic with a “Bambi”…even though many deer have come through our yard in Virginia.  She is just as calm as this Golden and patient.  Her mouth may not be strong enough to find a rock and carry it to shore since in “people years” she is about 92. If her eyes were not getting dim and her hips not so painful, she’d probably like to do a little dancing.

Nevertheless, Gracie and almost all Goldens that I have known are the most gentle and loving pets one could ever have. If you are a family looking for a dog for your children, consider the Golden Retriever. You’ll not be disappointed.   Just for fun…enjoy this video and make your day brighter.  You might even consider kicking up your heels abit.  If not, most likely it will bring a smile to your face.


God’s Transforming Love

Benji rescued on right

Benji shown at top and the new Benji (arrow)

The Season of Lent and Easter is now passed, but I saw a video today that made me think about the transforming power of faith in Jesus Christ.  Before we have this renewal of life through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are often pulling, tugging and trying to get away from surrendering to His love and guidance.

The video below is a perfect example of God’s care.  We are fearful. He wants to rid us of all the dirt and infestation that makes us miserable. If we have been abused by people or abandoned by those who should have cared, He understands. We don’t understand the loving touch of God.  We don’t know His intentions to transform us or what the outcome will be.  This is why we either resist or delay or even hide from what He wants to do in our lives.  He has a bigger plan for us.  Not only does He want to bring peace and love into our lives, but an adoption into His family…the Christian family.

Take a look now and see if you see the remarkable parallel to us, as humans,  and this pitiful little creature who found a new life.


An Escape from Haunting Thoughts…even for a few minutes

Tired and weary of  the daily news?   Politics: hearing the same talking points over and over… and man’s (or woman’s) inhumanity to man that  pull our thoughts into the bad, the ugly, the terrible?    So am I and that is why I decided my post on this blog today would be the absolute beauty of the world and the animals that inhabit it.  We need a break.

The amazing photography of Joe Riis gives us a close-up view of what is often hidden from us.  This particular video takes us out into the miles of land that migrating deer cross each year.   It shows the obstacles that animals  must navigate around as they enter our inhabited territories.    Just for a brief few minutes, give your mind a rest and focus on beauty. Replay it if it goes by too fast.   We all need a breather from the things that haunt our thoughts.

(for best viewing…enlarge picture and turn on sound)


A Little Wobbly…and Need a Little Help to Stay on Your Feet?

Life making you a little wobbly on your feet?   It seems that circumstances can make us feel that way. Everyone wants to be sure-footed….knowing exactly where to place the next step.   We don’t like the idea of doing something we have not done before…or facing issues that we’ve not previously had to face.  Sometimes when these things come along, it is nice to know that we can have someone to be there for us…someone to talk to…or to give us a little nudge.   It is also good to have their experience and make us certain that “we can do this”.

Nature also give a little nudge when needed.  We often wonder at the fact that there seems to be a built-in understanding of what has to be done.     See below what I mean…and apply it to your situation.  Look for those who can help you not to fall as you venture out.

 


The Florida Panther

Florida PantherThe wildlife of Florida is especially appreciated by those of us who see it daily. Each morning, just like clockwork, the beautiful white egrets from Bird Island stretch their wide wings and in formation fly over our neighborhood. The estimate is about 30-40 of them. Later in the day, they fly back to their beloved island where only a few boats pass by.
A less viewed part of the Florida wildlife is the Florida panther which is on the endangered list.

State officials released the female cats 18 years ago to address breeding issues that can result from a “segmented population.” Without that much-needed shot of “genetic diversity” the study indicates that the animal would likely now be extinct. The Texas cougar project did raise questions about the “validity of the Florida panther as an authentic subspecies.” Experts note, however, that the two feline populations share genetic traits because of their geographical proximity.
Cats born in South Florida are classified as panthers.  Florida panther2 According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there is now an estimated number of 100 to 160 panthers living in the wild.  These are being closely tracked by Florida state officials.

 

 

 

The video you are about to see is one of rescue and surgery of a Florida panther that was struck by a car. It is heart-warming to see its release back into the wild.